Thursday, 8 January 2015

What if your eyes could see through the skin and spot any sign of lameness?

It is said to be "40 times more sensitive than the human hand"* and "an exciting and cutting edge tool in diagnosis"**. Veterinary Thermal Imaging or Thermography is indeed a clever, completely non-invasive and very low stress way of getting inside a horse's body...

Back in December, Veterinary Thermal Imaging Ltd took part in a Christmas Gift Guide I ran on my other blog. They offered a very good discount for my readers at the time and one of my clients took advantage of the offer to enable her to investigate issues she has had with her horse. When VTI's consultant, Helen Morrell, arrived to take images of J., I made sure I could be there with my camera.

I have known J. since July last year and his issues baffled me since I started helping the owner with his rehab programme. Ever since Kingsley's saga, I am hooked on biomechanics and try to educate my eye for abnormalities in movement as well as real good movement, at any occasion.

At least 50% of horses I meet on my teaching path have some body issues - some are reasonably easy to resolve with good schooling, some definitely need veterinary or physio help. J'/s owner and I compiled a series of videos of him on the lunge, in-hand, ridden, walked up and down the hill etc. It really helps to re-watch the footage later with fresh mind. Slight over-rotation of pelvis to one side or the other, vertical balance on the lunge, mechanics of each joint as the horse walks up the hill - all these register well, I find, when there isn't blasting wind and cold or rain lashing about.

Drying J. before VTI's arrival. He was rather wet after a night and morning of downpours (he lives out and doesn't really like to use his field shelter) so we got on his case with towels from 10.30am ;) 
The reason I was really excited at seeing these images was that they let me connect what I felt from the horse when riding him and what I saw watching him with what really might be happening deep inside his tissues.

Here is a whole process of Thermography on a video with J. as a main character :)

Late again on here as got side tracked reading about thermography - I wish we knew about this option when we were searching for Kingsley's issues. He could have been saved being stabbed and prodded with various nerve blocks and injections and pointless investigations of body parts that were not problematic at all. Have you ever used this diagnostic tool?



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